Rise in hospital complaints and compliments

PUBLISHED: 07:35 15 September 2013

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.

Archant

THE number of complaints involving Weston 
General Hospital has risen by more than 40 per cent in the past two years - although it has also had a record number of compliments.

More than 250 letters and emails from unhappy patients and relatives were received during the past financial year, Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) has revealed.

But despite receiving 262 complaints, the trust also received a record number of compliments and letters of thanks, with more than 1,100 reaching the hospital.

The main sources of complaint were connected to medical treatment, communication between staff and patients and nursing care.

Gill Hoskins, associate director of governance and patient experience, said: “We take complaints to the trust very seriously and carefully review them to try to improve our services and learn lessons from them. As part of this we have created a patients’ council which is made up of local people who have made a complaint in the past.

“The patients’ council gives us valuable feedback from the patients’ point of view and works with us to monitor patients’ experiences of our services.

“In turn, this will help minimise the numbers of people who aren’t happy with their experience here.”

Positive health and safety and infection reports were also released this week by WAHT.

However, more than 150 patients contracted norovirus in the 2012-13 financial year, resulting in 11 ward closures for a total of 90 days.

Chris Perry, director of nursing said: “As part of our infection control we have reduced the numbers of wards with restrictions due to norovirus by 56 per cent in the last year.

“Highly contagious norovirus is a constant risk for hospitals and places like schools, cruise ships and hotels. It can be brought in by patients who are incubating it as well as visitors who are affected. On admission to Weston patients are assessed and anyone showing symptoms is put into isolation.

“Infection control nurses monitor patients daily and we have an early alert system to reduce the risk of an outbreak.”

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